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City and Commune
Partial view of Ancud
Partial view of Ancud
Flag of Ancud
Coat of arms of Ancud
Coat of arms
Map of Ancud commune in Los Lagos Region
Map of Ancud commune in Los Lagos Region
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Coordinates (city): 41°52′S 73°50′W / 41.867°S 73.833°W / -41.867; -73.833Coordinates: 41°52′S 73°50′W / 41.867°S 73.833°W / -41.867; -73.833
Country Chile
Region Los Lagos
Province Chiloé
Founded as San Carlos de Chiloé
Founded 20 August 1768
 • Type Municipality
 • Alcalde Soledad Moreno Nuñez (Ind)
 • Total 1,252.4 km2 (483.6 sq mi)
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2012 Census)
 • Total 40,819
 • Density 33/km2 (84/sq mi)
 • Urban 27,292
 • Rural 12,654
Demonym(s) Ancuditano
 • Men 19,793
 • Women 20,153
Time zone CLT (UTC−4)
 • Summer (DST) CLST (UTC−3)
Area code(s) 56 + 65
Website Official website (Spanish)

Ancud (Spanish pronunciation: [aŋˈkuð]) is a city in southern Chile located in the northernmost part of the island and province of Chiloé, in Los Lagos Region. It is the second largest city of Chiloé Archipelago after Castro. The city was established in 1768 to function as the capital of the archipelago and held that position until 1982.


Numerous glaciations have dredged the Chacao Channel to the north, separating Chiloé Island from mainland Chile to the north, marking the border between two natural regions of Chile, Zona Sur to the north and Zona Austral to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies on the west as the Chilean Coastal Range continues as a chain of islands. To the southeast of the commune is Quemchi and Dalcahue to the south. The commune has a surface area of 1,752.4 km2 (677 sq mi).[2]


Between 1767 and 1982, Ancud was the capital of the province of Chiloé and in 1840 became the seat of a Catholic diocese.

Ancud was founded on August 20, 1767 during the reign of Charles III of Spain. The viceroy of Peru, Manuel de Amat y Juniet, was commanded to fortify the north end of the island of Chiloé; he instructed the Brigadier Don Carlos de Beranger y Renaud to raise a fort on the north-western tip of the island. The fort was built to defend navigation around the southern tip of South America from English encroachment.

Beranger, who was named governor of Chiloé, founded the Villa y Fuerte Real de San Carlos de Chiloé in 1768. He moved the inhabitants of Chacao to the new settlement and from that moment the new town became the seat of the governor and the main port of the island. Fortifications on the bay, as well as artillery batteries, were constructed, as well as the castle of San Miguel de Agüi. From 1784 the villa of San Carlos was the seat of the Intendancy of Chiloé, erected in that year, which was subject to the Viceroyalty of Peru. The first Intendant was Francisco Hurtado del Pino.

Ancud remained loyal to the Spanish crown after Chile declared independence, and an expedition under Antonio Pareja departed from the Fuerte Real de San Carlos de Chiloé in 1813, which led to the Disaster of Rancagua, a victory for the royalists. Forces from Chiloé entered Santiago de Chile on October 5, 1814. Chiloé, under the royal governor Antonio de Quintanilla continued to remain loyal to Spain. Rge Fuerte Real de San Carlos was defended against the attack led by Lord Cochrane, who was defeated while attempting to assault the castle of San Miguel de Agüi in 1820. The expedition led by Ramón Freire against the Chiloé royalists would also be defeated at the Battle of Mocopulli (April 1, 1824). In 1826, Chilean forces would finally defeat the Chiloé resistance at Pudeto and Bellavista (January 14, 1826). The Treaty of Tantauco would confirm the annexation of Chiloé to the republic of Chile.

With Chiloé annexed to the Republic of Chile, administration was placed in the hands of Colonel José Santiago de Aldunate (1826), who was arrested in the Villa de San Carlos de Chiloé by sergeant-major Manuel Fuentes, who organized an assembly on May 12, 1826 that declared the independence of Chiloé. This rebellion was suppressed by July 19, 1826.

On June 28, 1834, Charles Darwin visited the town during the Second voyage of HMS Beagle.

On July 4, 1834, the name of the town was changed from San Carlos de Chiloé to Ancud, and was officially named a city as well as the capital of the province of Chiloé.

On July 1, 1840, Pope Gregory XVI, in his papal bull Ubi primum, created the diocese of San Carlos de Ancud. The episcopal seat was located at Ancud. The first bishop was Justo Donoso Vivanco, a Dominican and an important expert in canon law, afterwards bishop of La Serena and minister of Justice, Worship, and Public Education. On April 13, 1845, the seminary known as the Seminario Conciliar de Ancud was founded in the city during his episcopate. The school known as the "Liceo de Ancud" was founded on October 11, 1868. Nuns of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception settled in the city on November 3, 1874.

During the 19th century, the city of Ancud, with its intense maritime commercial activity, became an important center for industry and commerce, but it suffered a decline as a result of the building of the Panama Canal. In the 20th century, an important settlement near the city was founded by German immigrants, whose activities led to the growth of commerce, agriculture, livestock, and education in the city. In 1912, however, Ancud suffered from competition with Puerto Montt, which was newly linked by rail with the rest of the country. This led to a slow economic decline. Ancud lost its status as capital of the province of Chiloé in 1982, but still retains a court of law for the province (Juzgado de capital de provincia).


Ancud has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) with significant precipitation in each month.[3] Winters are cool and wet with a July average of 7.5 °C (45.5 °F). Precipitation during this time of the year is very high, averaging around 350 millimetres (14 in) and humidity is high, averaging around 87-88%.[4] Summers are mild with a January average of 15.0 °C (59.0 °F) and during this time, precipitation is lower though still significant, averaging 125 millimetres (5 in) in January.[4] Temperatures rarely exceed 30 °C (86.0 °F). The average annual precipitation is 2,540 millimetres (100 in) and there are 200 days with measureable precipitation. However, precipitation is highly variable from year to year with 1993 being the driest, recording only 759 millimetres (30 in) and 1977 being the wettest at 3,712 millimetres (146 in).[4] The record high was 32.7 °C (90.9 °F) in January 27, 1975 and the record low was −3.0 °C (26.6 °F) in June 30, 1970.[4]

Climate data for Ancud
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.7
Average high °C (°F) 17.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.0
Average low °C (°F) 10.9
Record low °C (°F) 1.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 124.6
Average precipitation days 14 11 13 16 20 21 20 20 19 16 16 14 200
Average relative humidity (%) 74 76 79 84 88 88 87 85 82 78 76 75 81
Source: Dirección Meteorológica de Chile[4]


According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Ancud spans an area of 1,252.4 km2 (484 sq mi) and has 39,946 inhabitants (19,793 men and 20,153 women). Of these, 27,292 (68.3%) lived in urban areas and 12,654 (31.7%) in rural areas. The population grew by 6.5% (2,430 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.[2] The demonym of a person from Ancud is Ancuditano for a man and Ancuditana for a woman.

Sites of Interest in Ancud[edit]

  • Fort San Antonio which was built in 1770 is located to 800 meters of the seat of arms by Baquedano street until San Antonio. Its walls and cannons are well-preserved. The building offers a scenic view of the town and its surroundings.
  • Powder magazine. Located to 700 meters of the Seat of arms in the direction of Heavy Sand.
  • Regional museum of Ancud. Located in front of the Seat of Arms of the city.
  • The Cathedral which was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1960 is worth a visit.[5]
  • The church Iglesia de San Francisco in F. Errázuriz Street.
  • The marine drive Avenida Salvador Allende, offering a scenic view of the town and the bay, has numerous monuments.
  • Plaza de Armas, the central square of Ancud, includes an interesting monument dedicated to the fire-brigade in front of the Town Hall (Municipalidad).

Sites of Interest around Ancud[edit]

  • Quetalmahue, a cove with oyster beds, is located to 14 km of Ancud.
  • Pinguineras de Puñihuil. 25 km to the southwest of Ancud are located about.
  • Light Crown is located to 28 km to the northwest of the city of Ancud, in the sector of Guapilacuy.
  • Chepu river is located to about 30 km of Ancud and runs by the valley of the same name.
  • Fort Ahui is located in the peninsula of Lacuy to 39 km of Ancud. The fort was built in 1779 and used until 1826.[6] Some walls, the powder magazine, 14 cannons and the dungeons can still be seen.
  • Sanctuary of the Birds of Ancud is located in the Caulín Bay


As a commune, Ancud is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008-2012 alcalde is Federico Krüger Finterbüch.[1]

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Ancud is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Mr. Gabriel Ascencio (PDC) and Mr. Alejandro Santana (RN) as part of the 58th electoral district, (together with Castro, Quemchi, Dalcahue, Curaco de Vélez, Quinchao, Puqueldón, Chonchi, Queilén, Quellón, Chaitén, Hualaihué, Futaleufú and Palena). The commune is represented in the Senate by Camilo Escalona Medina (PS) and Carlos Kuschel Silva (RN) as part of the 17th senatorial constituency (Los Lagos Region).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Municipality of Ancud" (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "National Statistics Institute" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Kottek, M.; J. Grieser; C. Beck; B. Rudolf; F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated" (PDF). Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Estadisca Climatologica Tomo II" (PDF) (in Spanish). Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil. March 2001. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  5. ^ Jorge Sánchez R.: Chiloé - tradición y cultura, p. 26. Santiago de Chile 2006
  6. ^ Jorge Sánchez R.: Chiloé - tradición y cultura, p. 29. Santiago de Chile 2006

External links[edit]